South Sudan’s Army Calls For Concerted Efforts To Fight HIV/AIDS

“South Sudan’s army on Wednesday appealed for concerted efforts to fight against HIV/AIDS, stressing that the war against the sexually transmitted disease cannot be fought by one institution or group of some officials tasked by the government,” the Sudan Tribune reports. “Speaking in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Wednesday, Lieutenant Colonel John Woja, the HIV/AIDS Secretariat Program Manager of the military, warned that prevalence of disease poses a big threat to the military” and “called on media to complement the efforts of his directorate in sensitizing civilians and the army,” the newspaper writes.

“The senior military official said the prevalence rate of the disease within the army is over four percent,” and he added the military is working toward a goal of no new infections among soldiers by 2015, the newspaper notes. “South Sudan had a relatively low rate of HIV/AIDS up until 2005 when a peace deal opened up the region to immigration and returnees from neighboring countries with higher rates, such as Kenya and Uganda,” it adds (2/22).